Gush Katif Day was marked in schools throughout Israel on Thursday,.
Students throughout Israel learned about Gush Katif, its importance, how the Israeli government encouraged the area's settlement after the Six Day War, and about the tragic 2005 expulsion of its 9000 Jewish residents, down to the last grave; they learned how it became a thriving agricultural and residential region--which Gazan Arabs, who had left it desolate, once called "cursed land"-- during then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's term of office.
Israel National News TV spoke with Einat Bloch-Yefet, an expellee from the community of Netzer Hazani, who visited schools and spoke to students.
The expulsion, a unilateral move by Israel, led to massive demonstrations in an attempt to prevent it. By now, after the fact, it has been criticized by most of the very same public figures who supported it at the time and who ignored the hundreds of thousands who took to the streets against the move.
Far from bringing quiet to the area and international praise for Israel's leaving Gaza, the expulsion led to a Hamas takeover of Gaza, an endless barrage of rockets and missiles on southern Israel and the subsequent Cast Lead Operation for which Israel was condemned in the Goldstone Report, The Gaza flotillas are yet another negative result of the expulsion.
The lives of most of the Israelis who were Gush Katif residents have yet to return to normal, despite their valiant efforts. Unemployment and lack of funds to build new homes after years of bureaucratic delays and grandiose government plans that remained mostly on paper, are the most devastating results of the ill-conceived expulsion of Jews by Jews.